This will be short. It will be something to think about and I would love for you to share your thoughts. I was thinking about something the other day and I wanted to bring it up in this space.
I was almost afraid to say it out loud because I felt like I would get some hate, but hear me out…
It’s only my opinion and I’m in no way bashing, I’m simply stating my thoughts about one component of the movement.
Now that I have completely led you on to think that this is going to be about some huge controversial topic, I bring you…
A beautiful company. A beautiful cause. Hopefully it is something that will bring big change to the face of mental illness awareness in the sense that more people will understand and accept that mental illness is not a person, but rather, a challenge.
So why am I bringing this up other then to guide you to their site to check it out?
I have one issue with their message.
Their catch phrase…
Wear your label.
Once again, I know this is not supposed to be a negative thing at all and the whole idea of this cause is to spread awareness and knowledge of mental illness and move towards greater overall acceptance but I really don’t like this saying.
We are supposed to be pushing away from thinking of a person as their mental illness. I’m not an anorexic. Instead, I’m someone who suffered WITH anorexia. My experience with an eating disorder does not define me, so why would I label myself as such?
I don’t want people to see me as a walking eating disorder.
Disclaimer! Please note that I’m not trying to say that they wanted that to be their message at all. In fact, I know they are spreading the opposite on how we should be attached to a label, but their choice of slogan unfortunately appears misleading.
It’s not that I’m embarrassed and don’t want people to know. Thats far from it. Instead, I just don’t want to be defined by it. It was and still is a challenge I face every day.
I am a better and stronger person because of it but that is because I worked against it for myself. I am who I am today because of how I responded to the illness.
So instead of labelling myself as an ‘anorexic’, lets instead label myself as something empowering….
I am strong.
I am driven.
I am confident.
Those are things I wouldn’t mind labelling myself as if I had to have a label.
Otherwise, you are just you. There is no label that is needed for people to see you for you.
As for this cause, I support it 100% because too many people still don’t understand mental illness and then instead of sympathizing or offering support, they judge or display fear. This needs to be changed and with increased knowledge and some patience, it can (and has been!) change for the better.
I’m not sure at the moment what I could suggest as another marketing technique that is catchy, but maybe you guys would have some thoughts. As I mentioned, I also know they don’t want it to come off as you’re wearing your label of a mental illness because they clearly state that they don’t want those affected to feel defined by their illness. It’s just the physical sentence that comes off that way.
What do you all think? Am I completely wrong in saying what I did?
If you had to ‘label’ yourself with one word, what would it be?
Nothing connects us quite like shared experience, which is why creating conversations to inform, educate, and unite individuals is a main goal at Wear Your Label. Ending the stigma is our motivation; fashion is just a means of execution.
-Wear Your Label